Every year there are predictions as to which companies will succeed or fail. Using predictors such as:
Declining sales and losses
Disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business
Rising costs that are unlikely to be recouped through higher prices
Companies that are sold
Companies that go into bankruptcy
Companies that have lost the great majority of their customers
Operations with withering market share
Ten brands have been identified as disappearing by the end of 2014. These predictors have been wrong in the past, but the likelihood these brands will disappear from the United States is high. The top ten are:
Each of these brands has had their success moments and some have been part of our culture for decades. Yet, they are not currently doing well.
There are moments in time that could be pointed to when culture shifted and each of these brands did not follow. Once a brand is seen as less culturally relevant, it can be difficult to change perceptions and JCP is a strong example. “Fair and Square” tried hard to change what the brand means to people and yet sales have not responded positively. Instead, the brand has decided to return to previous strategies.
I will certainly be watching these brands and using up all the LivingSocial deals I have purchased.
My first book was edited by five people. Not everyone has that luxury. I think it’s a luxury because you get to see your work through different eyes – and you get to make the final call by reviewing the options and choosing the ones that make the most sense for your plot and characters.
I can honestly say that all five of my editors contributed something meaningful to the final published work. Some of the editing was tedious, but I found the overall process invigorating and frequently enjoyable. It was extremely helpful to have them point out areas that warranted a second look. I would review the section in question to determine whether or not it would pass muster with a broader audience; in some cases a reference was too obscure or a joke too lame. I’m not sure I would have caught those weaknesses on my own.
My second book is not going as smoothly. So far I’ve had three editors, and they all seem to get caught up in their own lack of knowledge of my genre. They’re not contributing anything meaningful. It’s frustrating and it feels as though this book will never get out. I write comedic murder mysteries. They’re so hung up on making comments like “why would that character tell her so much when she’s not even a real detective?” Oh for god sake – get over it! Have you never read Agatha’s Christie’s famous Miss Marple? Did you never watch Jessica Fletcher solve every mystery on Murder, She Wrote?
Even under the best of circumstances editors can get under your skin. But a good editor is worth their weight in gold. Aside from the outlay of cash, the biggest potential risk to self-publishing is not making the effort to get good editors reviewing your work. I was convinced my manuscript was perfect on the first day it was submitted – it became so much better over the 18 month editing and proofing process.
Even though in hindsight I am so grateful for the editors of that first book, they still managed to frustrate the hell out of me. I think I shortened and lengthened the same sentences three or four times, and I know I moved commas out, over and back into the same places. Some of their comments were stupid and dated – but I knew enough to ignore those – albeit not without angst and bugging my publisher for permission. I think I was high maintenance!
As I look back on the experience of my first book – I would not trade the value my editors brought to the project even if I never had to move a comma. And even though my second book has not yet met with a successful editing experience, I still cannot emphasize the importance of good editors – now I just have to find some!
Donovan heads Bozell Books, a division of Bozell designed to help authors and budding authors from inception through promotion of their published work. She has authored a novel entitled: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch? www.rldonovan.com, and the second in her Donna Leigh Mysteries series : I Didn’t Kill Her But That May Have Been Short Sighted, is currently being published.
Wow! In case you missed it, there was a social media meltdown of epic proportions this week following the airing of the season finale of Kitchen Nightmares featuring Amy’s Baking Company.
Not pretty. And throughout the last two days it got worse and the media picked it up and wrote hundreds of stories that were not at all flattering to the restaurant.
Obviously any business hates to hear negative reviews and feedback, but the last thing you want to have happen is to escalate the negative chatter. You simply don’t want to piss off the interwebs.
So, if you ever get into a situation with negative feedback, there are three big no-nos:
Don’t go too defensive in your language — you have the right to explain your point of view or present the facts, but always take the high road in the way you present it.
Don’t feed the trolls — sadly there are people who just pipe in for the sake of trying to get a reaction out of you, don’t let them get to you.
Don’t lie — that just makes a bad situation even worse. In the case of Amy’s Baking Company, after the meltdown, they came out and said they were hacked and that it wasn’t them which just fueled the flames again. If you make a mistake in the way you handle something, fess up and apologize.
Here’s something you don’t see everyday – jumping FROM web TO print.
Today via snail mail I received a preview issue of AllRecipes Magazine. I did a double take because it surprised me to see a web brand go paper.
I like to cook and try new recipes, so like millions of other people I’ve spent some significant time on recipe sites like AllRecipes.com. And I’m a full-on digital geek, so I often pull up an online recipe on my iPad or iPhone and prop it on my counter, turn on Pandora, and go to town on some culinary creation. So my first response was “why would I pay for something that I already get for free that would clutter up my house”?
Maybe it was because after spending 30 minutes of relaxed reading and flipping through the preview issue, I realized how much I enjoyed the tactile, non-stressful feeling of print. And how much I missed it. So I went online and subscribed (I couldn’t actually bring myself to complete the BRC card because that would be a pain).
Maybe they caught me at a weak moment. Or it could have been the cumin-coriander pork rub and the low-cal carrot cake.
If you spent much time on Facebook last week you most likely saw a lot of pink and red as people around the country changed their profile photos in support for marriage equality.
It started with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in an effort to encourage supporters relative to the US Supreme Court meeting last week to begin the debate on the future of same-sex marriage in the US.
On Monday March 25th at about 1pm EST, the day before the Supreme Court’s deliberation of California’s same-sex marriage ban, the HRC posted a Facebook status urging followers to change their Facebook profiles to its official “equal sign” logo in pink and red color scheme as a show of support.
The ‘red equal sign’ photo quickly spread across the social networking sites, reaching more than 9 million people and 77,000 shares directly from HRC’s Facebook page. Then, several celebrities and public figures picked up on the trend by switching their profile photos from actor George Takei and singer Lance Bass to Beyonce to Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and at least 13 United States Congress members.
By the morning of March 26th, the Facebook profile trend had been picked up by dozens of media outlets including TIME Magazine, ABC, CNN, Mashable, MSNBC, Forbes and more.
More celebrities and brands/companies jumped on board with derivations of the symbol.
Lots and lots of creative versions were posted.
By Friday March 29, it was reported that nearly 3 million people had changed their profile photo on Facebook alone. It was so popular that researchers at Facebook crunched the numbers to figure out exactly how many people changed their profile photos for the event and more about them.
From that analysis you can see the bump in profile updates below. “Using a time series model, we can decompose the trend we’d like to examine from the seasonality in the data. We find that the increase in uploads does indeed start around the time when HRC began urging their Facebook followers to change their profile photos at 1 p.m. EST (dashed line).”
Who changed their profile photos?
Thirty-somethings showed the greatest increase in updating their profile photo (see below). “This suggests that on average, roughly 3.5% of 30-year-old Facebook users updated their profiles in response to the events surrounding the HRC campaign. We also found a small, but significant difference expression between genders. On average, 2.3% more self-reported female users updated their profile photo, compared to 2.1% more self-reported males.”
Where were the heaviest concentration of those that changed their profile photo?
The geographic divides are fairly apparent in this map: same-sex marriage gets more support in the Northeast and West, less in the South. The data also showed that, unsurprisingly, those living in college towns were the most likely to change their profile pictures.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that “58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal. Public attitudes toward gay marriage are a mirror image of what they were a decade ago: in 2003, 37 percent favored gay nuptials, and 55 percent opposed them.” The following chart illustrates results by political party.
This PBS story does a good job of telling the story of how Facebook went pink and red.
Scott Rowe, partner in charge of digital marketing, will be speaking to Alpha Kappa Psi students at Creighton University on Saturday, April 6, 2013, about the agency business and his experience in digital marketing. Alpha Kappa Psi focuses on providing ethical leadership and professional development. Through educational programs, community service and a hands-on application of formal education, Alpha Kappa Psi students use the business skills they are taught in the classroom to acquire life skills such as the art of compromise, consensus building, project management, interviewing and networking. Read More